Releases/9/Alpha/ReleaseNotes

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Fedora 9 (Sulphur) Alpha Release Notes

What is Fedora?

Fedora is a set of projects sponsored by Red Hat and guided by contributors. These projects are developed by a large community of people who strive to provide and maintain the very best in free, open source software and standards. The center piece of the Fedora project is an operating system that is released twice a year, and is based on the Linux kernel, that is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute.

To find out more information about Fedora, refer to the following Web pages:

Official Announcement


What Is The Alpha Release?

The Alpha release provides the first opportunity for the wider community to become involved with the testing of Rawhide: representing a sanitised snapshot of Fedora's development branch, which sees rapid changes and will become the next major release, it should boot on the majority of systems, providing both an opportunity to get a look at what new features will be included in the next release and also an opportunity to provide feedback and bug reports to help ensure that the next release is as good as possible.

You can find the official release announcement here.

How To Try Alpha

Thanks to the infrastructure that was developed during the Fedora 7 release cycle, Alpha is accompanied by live CDs of both the GNOME and KDE desktops, making testing possible without installing any software on an existing system. As the Alpha release is largely targeted at developers and contains many bleeding edge packages, this is the best method for less experienced users who want to get involved with testing.

Alpha images can be downloaded from any of our mirrors by visiting this page . Remember that live images can be used on USB media via the 'livecd-iso-to-disk' utility available in the livecd-tools package on existing Fedora systems; Refer to this article for more instructions.

Fedora 9 (Sulphur) Release Schedule And Feature Details

Development continues on Rawhide during and after the Alpha release, leading up to the Beta and Release Candidate before the final release. The links below provide the release schedule for both the pre-releases and the final release, as well as the wiki pages for the various features planned for inclusion in Fedora 9 where their progress can be tracked.

Providing Feedback

As mentioned above, the Alpha release provides an opportunity for the wider community to begin testing the next release of Fedora: you can help the Fedora Project continue to improve Fedora if you file bug reports and enhancement requests. These links will explain what needs testing for the Alpha release and allow you to submit your feedback:

Release Overview

As always, Fedora continues to develop and integrate the latest free and open source software. The following sections provide a brief overview of major changes from the last release of Fedora. For more details about other features that are making their way into Rawhide and set for inclusion in Fedora 9, please see their individual wiki pages which detail their goals and progress. Also, throughout the release cycle there will be interviews with the developers behind key features, so keep an eye on these to get the inside scoop.

Desktop

GNOME 2.21 Development Release

GNOME 2.21 brings many improvements, not least of which is the introduction of GVFS and GIO as a replacement for GNOME VFS by Fedora developer and nautilus maintainer AlexanderLarsson. GVFS introduces many benefits including performance improvements, queuing multiple file transfers and additional security benefits through the use of PolicyKit, which is developed and maintained by Fedora developer DavidZeuthen and was first introduced in Fedora 8.

GNOME 2.21 also comes with a new world clock applet which displays the time and weather conditions for multiple time zones at the same time.

Releases 9 Alpha ReleaseNotes clockapplet.png

KDE 4.0

KDE 4.0 features upgrades to core components such as the port to QT 4. It also introduces a number of brand new frameworks such as the Phonon, a multimedia API; Solid, a hardware integration framework; Plasma, a re-written desktop and panel with many new concepts; integrated desktop search; compositing as a feature of KWin; and a brand new visual style called Oxygen.

Releases 9 Alpha ReleaseNotes kde4banner.png


Thanks to the hard work of the Fedora KDE Special Interest Group , KDE 4.0 is well integrated in Fedora. As this is the case, KDE 4.0 is the default for the KDE spin of Fedora, and features compatibility packages to ensure applications not yet ported to KDE 4 will continue to work.

Releases 9 Alpha ReleaseNotes kde4.png

Applications

Firefox 3 Beta 2

Firefox 3 Beta 2 brings a number of major improvements including a native look and feel, desktop integration, the new Places replacement for bookmarks and a re-worked address bar.

Releases 9 Alpha ReleaseNotes firefox.png

System

Anaconda Installer Improvements

The Anaconda team is actively developing a number of new features for Fedora 9. The Alpha release includes the following new features:

  • Support for resizing ext2, ext3 and NTFS partitions. Watch a screencast .
  • Support for creating and installing to encrypted filesystems.
  • Improved Rescue Mode (FirstAidKit).
  • Allow the user to set the install source during the second stage of installation.
  • Use libblkid for filesystem probing.

FreeIPA

FreeIPA makes managing auditing, identity and policy processes easier by providing web-based and command line provisioning and administration tools that takes the pain away from system administration: it combines the power of the Fedora Directory Server with FreeRADIUS, MIT Kerberos, NTP and DNS to provide an easy, out of the box solution.

PackageKit

PackageKit is a cross-distribution package management solution that has a complete yum backend. It has been designed to make installing and updating software on your computer easier, with its primary goal to unify all the graphical package management tools used in different distributions. To do this it makes use of some of the latest technologies such as PolicyKit and D-Bus. It is available in the repositories of this release as an alternative package management system using the yum backend.

Releases 9 Alpha ReleaseNotes packagekit.png

Fast X

In the opinion of Fedora developers, X takes too long to start up slowing down many aspects of the system including boot, logout and fast user switching. The goal of this project is to tune and make some architectural changes to X so that it can go from exec to ready to accept clients in one second. For a detailed list of changes made to X so far, and what is still to come, check the feature's wiki page for the latest news.

Kernel 2.6.24

Fedora 9 Alpha features a 2.6.24 based kernel. 2.6.24 includes CPU "group scheduling", memory fragmentation avoidance, tickless support for x86-64/ppc and other architectures, many new wireless drivers and a new wireless configuration interface, SPI/SDIO MMC support, USB authorization, per-device dirty memory thresholds, support for PID and network namespaces, support for static probe markers, read-only bind mounts, SELinux performance improvements, SATA link power management and port multiplier support, Large Receive Offload in network devices, memory hot-remove support, a new framework for controlling the idle processor power management, CIFS ACLs support, many new drivers and many other features and fixes.